The Scottish government recently expanded dangerous abortion drugs for at-home use, a move that pro-life advocates are calling dangerous and irresponsible.
Dr. Catherine Calderwood, the chief medical officer of Scotland, recently instructed health boards to allow women to take the abortion drug misoprostol at home, rather than in an abortion clinic, the News Letter reports.
The current practice in the United Kingdom is that women take both abortion drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, in an abortion clinic or hospital so that their condition may be monitored for safety.
“We’re the first country in the UK who are going to have women have the choice to take the second tablet for an abortion at home,” Calderwood told BBC Radio Scotland.
According to the new health regulation, women may take the abortion drug at home if they are up to 9 weeks pregnant.
Calderwood claimed the move is “significant progress” because it allows women “more privacy, more dignity” when aborting their unborn babies.
But pro-life advocates disagree.
Clara Campbell, spokeswoman for the pro-life organization Life, said there are severe health risks linked to the abortion drugs.
“Significant hemorrhaging and abdominal pain often occur and we are concerned about the health and safety of women, especially young people, who are using these pills secretly at home,” Campbell said. “We recognize that this move by the Scottish Government is an abortion anniversary gift to the abortion industry which is keen to increase the number of abortions it does every year.”
Gordon Macdonald, spokesperson for the Don’t Stop a Beating Heart coalition of pro-life groups in Scotland, expressed similar concerns to The Times.
“… encouraging women to have abortions at home is deeply concerning,” Macdonald said. “There will be no healthcare support on hand should something go wrong, and who is to say that the drugs won’t go astray and be used inappropriately?”
According to The Christian Institute, the Scottish government leaders made the decision without parliament or public input.
The Scottish government said it has the power to change the administration of the abortion drugs under the 1967 Abortion Act, The Week reports.
“We’re not changing any of the process around abortion,” Calderwood said in announcing the changes this week. “Women come forward, as they always will have done, we have doctors to speak to them, there are consent forms to sign and everything is done exactly as previously in the Abortion Act law. The only difference here is the second tablet, which has traditionally up ‘til now been given in a hospital setting, can be offered to women if it is clinically safe for them to take home.”
Studies indicate the abortion drugs mifepristone and misoprostol, which typically are taken together, can be dangerous and even deadly to the mother, as well as her unborn child. The abortion drug mifepristone is responsible for the deaths of dozens of women worldwide, including several in the United States, and it has injured at least 1,100 women in the United States, according to 2006 figures from the Food and Drug Administration. A Planned Parenthood study even admitted at least one woman is seriously injured from the abortion pill daily.
John Deighan, chief executive of SPUC, reacted to the news this way: “The reality is that this will have many vulnerable women who may be desperate about the situation they are in, pushed towards what is seen as the easy option of being handed some drugs and sent home to stop being a problem for society.”